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Rick Martin

Sharp to quit making personal computers

According to a report from Nikkei, the folks at Sharp have decided to officially pull the plug on their PC operations. While this may sound surprising, it's not entirely shocking given that the company has not released any PCs at all in the past year.  Read More

The ridiculously retro iTapedeck for iPhone

iPhone 4 owners will be pleased to hear that they can now wrap their cutting edge mobile device in a ridiculously retro case from technology's past. iTapedeck from Homeade is a protective skin for the iPhone 4 that looks just like a cassette tape.  Read More

Teijin's new lightweight firefighting suit

Japanese manufacturer Teijin, in cooperation with firefighting apparel maker Akao Co. Ltd., has announced the development of new firefighting suit that reportedly sets new world standards in both protection from extreme heat and lightweight wearability. Made from TRIPROTECH aramid fibers, Teijin's new suit consists of multiple key layers with even more clever monikers to boot, like GBARRIERLIGHT, TECHWAVE, and TECHNORA. The technical details of the layers' composition are somewhat hairy, but the upshot is that Teijin's improved aramid fibers have resulted in a firefighting suit that weights only 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) and is 60 percent more effective in preventing burns than the company's prior lightweight suits.  Read More

Samsung Galaxy Tab a standout at CEATEC 2010

At CEATEC 2010 in Chiba, Japan this past week, more than a few companies were showcasing tablet computers, due in no small part to the success of Apple's iPad. The most notable among them was the Samsung Galaxy Tab.  Read More

The Lumix Phone

At CEATEC 2010 in Chiba, Japan, Panasonic exhibited the Lumix Phone, amid some significant excitement as they had teased the specs in a release the previous week. While it remains to be seen exactly how good the Lumix Phone is, it's certainly interesting to see a product that at least approaches the model of a camera with a phone rather than a just another phone with a camera.  Read More

The glasses feature a QVGA display (320x240) on the right lens to display information

At this year's CEATEC conference in Chiba, Japan, Docomo previewed the AR Walker augmented reality application that uses a tiny display screen mounted on a pair of glasses, rather than on a mobile phone screen like Layar or other AR apps. While the AR Walker application is not by itself anything new, being able to see annotations of the world around you without having to view it through a mobile phone's camera display is. Docomo has come one step closer to the fictional augmented reality glasses that anime fans might remember from the TV series Dennou Coil, where children wore glasses to view virtual objects superimposed over the real world.  Read More

TDK's transparent OLED display

TDK has been showing off its new OLED film at the CEATEC conference in Chiba, Japan. This flexible film surface can even show images while bending, giving it an immediate advantage over glass displays. TDK hopes to begin production of the film displays within one year, so it might not be such a long time before we see them popping up in our mobile devices.  Read More

Fujitsu's new supercomputer is nicknamed the 'K', a reference to the Japanese word 'Kei,' ...

It wasn't so long ago that we reported on the Roadrunner supercomputer breaking the petaflop barrier. But this week Fujitsu announced that it will begin shipping its next-generation supercomputer which has a lofty performance goal of 10 petaflops – that's ten thousand trillion operations per second! The computer is nicknamed the 'K', a reference to the Japanese word "Kei," or 10 to the 16th power. If the K could reach this goal, it would hold the first place title – at least for a while – on top of the top 500 supercomputers list.  Read More

The Kid's Walker: 1.6 metre bi-pedal exoskeleton for children

Six years back we covered the amazing 3.4 meter bi-pedal exoskeleton from Japan known as the Landwalker. Imagine our surprise when we found that its producer, machinery and robotics manufacturer Sakakibara-Kikai, has developed a smaller exoskeleton called the Kid's Walker. It didn't get that name because of its diminutive size either – the Kid's Walker is a functioning bi-pedal exoskeleton designed to be piloted by children!  Read More

2011 Fujifilm X100 to feature innovative hybrid viewfinder

At Photokina 2010 in Cologne, Germany, Fujifilm has unveiled details about the upcoming Finepix X100, a compact camera with a retro style and impressive specs to match. The company claims this model, to be released in early 2011, will fill pro-photographers' need for a smaller back-up or substitute camera when a DSLR is inconvenient. With a 12.3 megapixel APS-C-based sensor and a fixed 23mm lens, the Finepix X100 will certainly be in the running for best pro compact on the market this spring.  Read More

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